Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Resisters #2: Sterling Squadron by Eric Nylund -ADVISABLE


Nylund, Eric The Resisters #2: Sterling Squadron 320 pgs. Random House Books for Young Readers, 2012. $14.67.  (Rating: G)
Ethan is a 12 year old whose life has changed drastically recently (in first book). He is now a pilot trainee for those who resist the aliens, Ch’zar, which have taken over earth. Ethan pilots a mechanical fighting bug, a wasp, which are part biological and tough as steel. He takes risks and that doesn’t go over well. But, he knows that risks are needed if they are to save their home base, the seed bank. All of their lives are on the line, so Ethan must be more than brave, he must be smart, and find his confidence.
This was an awesome book! Despite being a second book, it can easily function as a stand-alone (but I want the first book!!). The plot was creative, action packed, and interesting. I had initially dreaded reading the book because the cover looks kind of Power Rangers, but it was an excellent read that I think students will love! It was has quite a few genres/themes intersecting in an interesting way…sci-fi, end of the world as we know it, alien invasion, and coming of age. Entertaining!!
ELEMENTARY – ADVISABLE Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate & Author.

Oopsy Daisy (Flower Power Book 3) by Lauren Myracle –OPTIONAL


Myracle, Lauren Oopsy Daisy (Flower Power Book 3) 352 pgs. Amulet Books, 2012. $12.28.  (Rating: PG Swearing: PG via 2 body part words)
This is the continuing story of four 5th grade girls who are best friends. They each have different things going on in their lives, and are very different in some ways, similar in others. Violet has to worry about her mom, who just got out of the mental hospital. Yasaman loves her teacher so much, she wants to set her up with another single teacher at the school. Milla is worried about a sweet girl that has taken up with the grade bully. Katie Rose is trying to figure out how to get the attention of her crush. Everything comes together at Kids Night In, a big sleepover for all the students.
This was a really long book, with not enough plot or action to carry me through. The four girls were so similar in personality (despite  efforts to point out their cultural and family differences), that I was having trouble telling them apart. While I think this is a pretty good example of real11 year olds,but I am not sure any 11 year old wants to read about daily events like this for 352 pages.
ELEMENTARY – OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate & Author.

Justin Case (Book 2) by Rachel Vail -OPTIONAL


Vail, Rachel and Illustrated by Cordell, Matthew Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom (Book 2) 192 pgs. Feiwel & Friends, 2012. $11.92.  (Rating: G)
Justin decides to go to a sports based summer camp, the problem is that he really isn’t into sports –especially swimming. Even when he realizes he is having a horrible time, especially when he feels compelled to play the painful game called knuckles, he persists. Justin eventually makes friends and finds a bit of courage.
I actually thought this book was pretty whitty, but the storyline was kind of torturous to read.  Justin has a lot of insightful things to say, but joining him for the much dreaded summer camp, every day, the whole summer detailed, lots of pages –well I sort couldn’t wait until the ‘summer’ was over. I think students will not enjoy reading about a boring summer, but I would love to read more from this author in the future  -in a different genre or age bracket.
ELEMENTARY – OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate & Author.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide by Rick Riordan-ADVISASBLE


Riordan, Rick, The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide. Disney Hyperion, 2012. Pgs. 141. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: G

Meet Sadie and Carter Kane. After their mother died, Sadie went to live with her grandparents in England and Carter stayed living with his father, who is always traveling. When their father disappears while performing a bizarre ritual at the British Museum in London, Sadie and Carter soon discover that their father has somehow awakened the gods of Ancient Egypt and at least one of them is evil. In this survival guide, readers will learn everything they need to know about the Egyptian Gods, Sadie and Carter, and the other Kane family relatives. Everything they need to know to read the Kane Chronicles series.

Chock full of facts and illustrations, this well-laid out guide with interesting facts about Egypt, this book is the perfect guide for Riordan fans. EL (4-6), MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.  

Ask Amy Green by Sarah Webb-ADVISABLE


Webb, Sarah, Ask Amy Green: Bridesmaid Blitz. Candlewick Press, 2012. Pgs. 210. Language: G, Violence: G, Sexual Content: PG
Amy’s family life continues to be complicated, realistic, and interesting in this 3rd installment of Green. Amy and her friend, Milla, are still navigating the complications of boyfriends and being teenagers. But, with Amy’s step-mom being preggers , Mom dealing with the stress of planning her wedding, and her boyfriend’s mom dealing with cancer, will she be able to balance Clover’s article with everything else?
An upbeat, realistic fiction book with loveable characters. A must read for all tweens and early teen girls.  EL (4-6), MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Jessica Moody, Library Media Specialist, Olympus Jr. High.

Long Story Short by Sioban Parkinson-OPTIONAL


Parkinson, Sioban, Long Story Short. Roaring Brook Press, 2011. Pgs. 151. Language: PG-13 (4 swears, 2 ”f”s), Violence: PG-13, Sexual Content: PG

14-year-old Jonathan and his 8-year-old sister are family. Dad left them and mom turned into an alcoholic. In an attempt to help his sister escape from being beaten anymore by mom, they runaway together. Only Jonathan can’t take care of his sister and tries to drop her off at their father’s home. In the process, he gets caught by the police and charged with the murder of his mother. Jonathan is read to end it all, but a social worker comes to his aid and tells him how much his sister needs him. Can Jonathan find a way to be there for his sister?

The Irish dialect is a little hard to understand and the content is a little hard to take in. The plot, however,  is well-developed and the reader can’t help but feel sympathy for the characters as they come full circle and learn one of the greatest lessons in life. Readers who like books with mature content as found in books by authors like Walter Dean Myers and Laurie Halse Anderson and deal with self-discovery and dysfunctional families will enjoy reading this book. MS, HS. OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

Jack Maroo by Jon U- OPTIONAL

U, Jon. Jack Maroo. Illustrated by Mark Carpenter.  28 pgs.  CreateSpace, 2011.  $(no price listed).  G- PICTURE BOOK.  This is a rhyming story about a boy named Jack Maroo and his adventures with his friend, Suzie Q.  Jack and Suzie Q go fishing along with Suzie Q’s cow named Moo.  The illustrations are very descriptive and detailed.  The rhyming is well done.  At the end of the book there are extra blank pages where the reader can draw his/her own Jack Maroo adventure.  EL (K-3).  OTIONAL.  Reviewer: SL. 

Wrong Way by Mark Macleod- ADVISABLE

Macleod, Mark. Wrong Way.  Illustrated by Judith Rossell. 32 pgs.  Kane/Miller Book Publishers.   $14.99.  G- PICTURE BOOK.  Mother Duck and her three ducklings are out for a walk.  Right Way and Your Way and very obedient ducklings and do whatever their mother asks.  Wrong Way, on the other hand, seems to always do things differently.  Mother Duck wants to teach them how to swim and takes her ducklings off to the pond.  Getting there is almost more than she can bear because Wrong Way is walking the wrong way, hiding in bushes, and playing in puddles.  Mother Duck wonders if they will not only make it to the pond, but whether it’s even worth the effort.  In the end swimming lessons are successful, even if Wrong Way does it his OWN way!  This is an adorable book about finding that fine line between being stubborn and being individual.  We laughed at the adventures and loved the surprise ending to this sweet book.  Pre-K.  EL (K-3).  ADVISABLE.  Reviewer: SL.

C.R. Mudgeon by Leslie Muir- ADVISABLE

Muir, Leslie. C.R. Mudgeon. Illustrated by Julian Hector.  32 pgs.  Atheneum Books for Young Readers.  $15.99.  Content: G PICTURE BOOK.  The hedgehog, C.R. Mudgeon, likes his life just the way it is.  His world it perfect to him, everything routine and predictable.  When a new neighbor moves in, C.R. Mudgeon’s world is turned upside down.  Suddenly his is faced with new noises, new smells, new creatures that upset his routine.  C.R. Mudgeon is simply beside himself and tries desperately to find a way to get rid of Paprika the squirrel but with no luck.  In the end, he realizes that a little newness to his old routine is not such a bad thing and he finds a friend along the way.  We enjoyed this book.  It could be the prefect springboard for discussing changes that often occur in life.  Pre-K.  EL (k-3).  ADVISABLE. Reviewer: SL.    

Wolf Won't Bite! by Emily Gravett- ESSENTIAL



Gravett, Emily. Wolf Won’t Bite!
32 pgs.  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.  $16.99. Content: G PICTURE BOOK. For those who loved the story of the Three Little Pigs, this is a must.  In a wolf/pig reversal, the pigs do everything they can to tease and taunt the wolf, knowing that surely he won’t bite!  Or will he?  With the repetition of “wolf won’t bite” students can predict text and help read aloud.  The illustrations are simple and drawn on mostly white backdrop yet detailed enough to tell the story by themselves.  We loved this book!  Pre-K.  EL (K-3).  ESSENTIAL.  Reviewer: SL.

Clorinda Plays Baseball by Robert Kinerk- ADVISABLE

Kinerk, Robert. Clorinda Plays Baseball!  Illustrated by Steven Kellogg.  40 pgs.  Simon & Schuster, 2012.  $16.99.  Content: G PICTURE BOOK.  Clorinda is a friend to everyone around her.  Her greatest dream is to play baseball for the Bosstown Red Hats.  Little does she know that in an effort to help her friend Deke, the neighbor boy, her dream will eventually come true in a surprising way. The illustrations are unique to Steven Kellogg and we loved every page.  There are a lot of themes found in this simple and adorable book.  This book could be used with a unit on friendship, sports, and helping others.  Pre-K.  EL (K-3).  ADVISABLE.  Reviewer: SL. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face by Paul Acampora-ADVISABLE


Acampora, Paul, Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face. Roaring Brook, Press, 2011. Pgs. 168. Language: G, Violence: PG, Sexual Content: G

Zachary is the new kid in a small town and needs a friend. His new neighbors, Rachel and Teddy begin to fill the void his mom created when she left him and his father, but will his new friends finally make it so he can make a new place for himself?

The plot is really thin, but endearing. The characters are well-developed and grow together into a more mature friendship. Both boys and girls will find something to real tot in this delightful summertime adventure. EL (4-6), MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.

Nightmare at Camp Forrestwood by Kelli Sue Landon-OPTIONAL


Landon, Kelli Sue, Nightmare at Camp ForrestWood. Outskirts Press, 2011. Pgs. 129. Language: R(52 swears, 1 “f”), Sexual Content: PG-13, Violence: R

Holly Jensen goes camping with her senior class. Only what is supposed to be a fun weekend, turns into a string of murders. There’s a killer among Holly’s classmates and everyone’s a suspect. Can Holly solve the murder before she winds up dead as well?

There is no character development, in fact the digress. The plot moves quickly, but has a lot of foul language. There’s also a lot of sexual and sexual references. Hard-core horror and mystery fans might, however, still enjoy reading this book. Would only recommend for a high school or a public library. HS. OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Service Librarian, WHI Public Library.